Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Swedish Meatballs over Kluski Noodles

The Jan/Feb issue Cook's Illustrated had a recipe for Swedish Meatballs. I always like getting them at Ikea, so I gave it a try. The recipe called for heavy cream in both the meatballs and the sauce. I used evaporated milk - it's cheaper, lower in fat and won't separate when reheating like cream often does. The recipe called for half a pound each of ground pork and ground beef. I doubled the recipe so I could use the whole package of each. I meant to add some fresh dill or thyme - that would have made it better. And I needed lingonberry sauce. Doh!

In my mixer bowl, I made a panade of 4 crustless slices white bread soaked in ½ cup evaporated milk, two eggs plus a half tsp. each of allspice and nutmeg, 2 tsp.each of baking powder, salt and brown sugar plus two grated onions. I gave it a quick mix to form a paste, added the meat, and mixed on medium for 45 seconds until everything was incorporated. Forming 55 little meatballs took forever. I wonder if Swedish Salisbury Steak would be just as good.

The recipe called for pan-frying, but I split the batch between the frying pan and the broiler. Frying takes a lot more attention, stinks up the kitchen and adds extra fat. The fried meatballs were a bit more crispy and fluffy but they also tended to fall apart. With the sauce it was hard to tell the difference. Broil. Just remember to put some water in the bottom of the broiler pan so the drippings don't smoke and stick to the bottom.

The sauce is pretty basic - two cups of broth thickened with flour and enriched with 1/4 cup evaporated milk. The recipe called for chicken broth but I used Better Than Bouillon beef base. It tasted like that was a mistake at first, but once I added the tbsp. of brown sugar 2 tbsp. of lemon juice, the sauce had a bright sweet and sour flavor. I added a little allspice and white pepper too. I tossed the meatballs right in the finished sauce to keep warm while I boiled some Kluski noodles and finished cooking some squash for the side dish.

Frugal Factor: I used the last of my ground pork from the 1/4 pig I bought which worked out to about $4/lb. The ground beef from Shop Rite was $2.19/lb. 12 oz bag of kluski noodles, $1.79; evaporated milk, 12 ox can, $0.89. That's $8.87. Let's round that up to $10 to cover the pantry items (bread, onion, spices, sugar, etc.) Yielded 55 meatballs - 8 portions plus the ones I sneaked while finishing the sauce and such. That's $1.50/portion. (the side dish was a butternut squash I bought for $2.50 - so add $0.42 for that for the meal)

1 comment:

Dawn said...

Wow, this looks tasty.